You can cause your DHCP clients to use the ARP protocol on their local subnet, but configuring the DHCP server to set the client's default gateway equal to its' IP address.
On the DHCP server, navigate to:
where w.x.y.z is the network ID for the scope you want to configure.
Add Value name SwitchedNetworkFlag as a type REG_DWORD and set the data value to 1.
You can also improve performance by reducing the number of ping retries. Use the Server Properties dialog.